fo: super hero helmet hat.

super hero helmet hat 1

super hero helmet hat 2

This is perhaps the squishiest, warmest hat I’ve ever made. (It may also be the biggest hat I’ve knit, but I’ll get to that.) I was so excited to discover that I won this pattern over at Cosy’s blog because I’ve been meaning to purchase this pattern, especially now that I have a pile of handspun that is just begging to be knit into smaller projects. I settled on some of my early wheelspun: AVFKW corriedale in The Candle’s Nimble Flame.

Using size 10.5 needles, I cast on for the larger size medium (if you have the pattern, you’ll know exactly what I mean), and knit to the decreases. The hat is knit back and forth, so I wrapped it around my head and realized that it was going to be way too big. I tend not to swatch with hats, as most of the time it seems like I can eye it and the hat will fit someone, but I hadn’t really taken into account how thick and thin this handspun is, and clearly my powers of estimation are less accurate when evaluating something knit flat. I frogged what I had and started over, casting on 8 stitches fewer and beginning again.

I finished late last night, and I absolutely love the earflaps and the shape of the hat. It may still be a bit big — I didn’t think really think about row gauge, and I probably should have accounted for that in adjusting for my surprisingly thick yarn.

super hero helmet hat 3

That said, this may become my go-to hat for super cold days, dog-walking, hiking, etc. I can fit my growing expanse of hair under the hat (see first picture), no problem, and this hat is loose enough that I can stay warm without flattening my hair while out walking with Boh. (This matters on days where I have to head back to campus for afternoon and evening events.)

Most importantly, this is an incredibly satisfying, soothing knit. I have a lot going on this week, and I just really needed to finish something last night — to feel productive, to see progress on at least one task, and I think finishing this super squishy hat and snapping a few (bleary-eyed) pictures helped me to sleep more deeply.

I might even cast on for another before the day is over.

Thanks, Cosy, for a clear, cute, satisfying, straightforward pattern. I highly recommend the Super Hero Helmet Hat!

Any and all wonkiness in the land of sizing rests solely on me, the variation in my thick and thin yarn, and my lack of patience! (I just needed to get to that garter stitch happy place, and ignored gauge issues in order to blissfully knit back and forth — and I do not regret it!)

pssst.

whisper-first-sleeve

And so it begins. Yesterday, in between chunks of reading and note-taking, I wound up a skein of Knitpicks Shadow in Redwood Forest with an intention to swatch. After struggling with attempting to cast on/join laceweight yarn on circular 6s (which I was going to try first after reading some rav comments), I gave up on the magic looping because I was too lazy to dig up a book to refresh my memory on the start-up part of it and went looking for dpns.

Take 2: Bamboo dpns, size 6. AKA the dullest dpns in my collection. I cast on 76 st and knit a few rows of k1p1 ribbing (a popular rav mod to prevent rolling), cursing all the while. Then I remembered these needles, given to me by someone quite dear. Maybe there were sixes in this set?

Nope. But there were dpns in size 7s (which the pattern uses), and they were pointy. The needles determined my plan of attack: with only one set of viable needles for starting the project without wanting to poke myself in the eye repeatedly, I dove in, SANS swatch. I mean, if the results of the swatch do not matter because there is only one set of needles in the house that will be enjoyable to knit this yarn with, what could a swatch really DO for me?

Famous last words, I know, but if the knitting isn’t enjoyable, why do it?

Here’s how it is working out so far. On this sleeve, I’m getting 7 st/inch and 8 rows/inch on 7s. The pattern gauge is 6st/inch and 8 rows/inch. I’ve read that some folks have found that Shadow will grow, and the sleeves are pretty big on a lot of people. With this pattern’s particular construction, my st gauge is not as important for overall size (notwithstanding the arms, but I am happy with them being a little smaller), because the pattern moves from sleeve to sleeve across the back, rather than down, and my row gauge is on, and then the back gets picked up and worked down. Does that make sense? I think so…

Also, I am aware that I need to keep an eye on all of this, and laceweight yarn on bigger needles seems particularly responsive in the land of blocking. Yay!

I’m glad my needle dilemma reminded me of these needles. It feels good to be using them.

Back to the books…